09 February 2016, Abuja – Owing to the delay by the executive to transmit the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to the legislature for passage into law, the National Assembly is set to work on its own version of the bill to expedite the reforms needed in the oil and gas sector.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, made this disclosure yesterday when he received the international board of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI).
Dogara said the legislature was bent on ensuring that Nigeria is no longer bogged down by the resource curse, as the nation which has abundant resources, also experiences a lot of poverty among its citizens.
“We have repeatedly, called on the executive to present reform proposals in the petroleum sector. However, we may not continue to wait for an executive bill on this subject matter as we are prepared to introduce the National Assembly’s version; what we believe should be the legal framework for the oil and gas sector in Nigeria,” he said.
“We cannot continue to take the blame for non passage of the petroleum reform legislation in Nigeria. As I speak with you, work on our own version has reached advanced stage and hopefully, we will introduce it in both chambers of the National Assembly. If it happens that the executive transmits its own version of the oil sector, we have ample provision in the House rules for us to merge the two together. We will not continue to wait,” Dogara added.
Dogara expressed readiness of the National Assembly to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s initiatives in the oil, gas and mining sectors.
Speaking further, Dogara disclosed that the House would begin consideration and debate of the NEITI’s extractive industry audit report.
The report, he said, would assist the legislature in thorough oversight of the oil and gas and extractive sectors.
He directed the Committees on Petroleum (Upstream) and Rules and Business to introduce and schedule the report for debate before the end of this quarter.
Speaking earlier, the acting Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said Nigeria needs to reverse the resource curse.